MCCC hosts College Night

Carrie Blagec (right) and Kelsi Barton talk to Andy McCain at the Michigan State University Table.

Hundreds of high school and college students got a glimpse of their future at MCCC’s Oct. 16 College Night.

Representatives from over 50 colleges, including Central Michigan University, Eastern Michigan University and Wayne State University were on hand to provide information to students. 

Joyce Haver, one of MCCC’s counselors, said attendance for the event was high.

“Dr. Quartey and Dr. Daniels estimated over 500 people – parents, students, guardians, friends,” Haver said. “We were surprised at the number of grandparents that attended.” 

One of those parents was Kristin Rutan.

“I like the one-stop-shop, just to get the general information,” she said.

Rutan was visiting with her two teenagers, Kedzie and Conner.  The three agreed they were surprised by how many colleges were there.

Every college that registered showed up, and there were a few who hadn’t registered that also came.

Carrie Blagec thought she had her top college choices already picked out, until she came to College Night.  

She learned a lot and it made her start to look at other schools, she said.

“I never thought that maybe I could go to Michigan State,” Blagec said. “Now that I know that I probably can, I probably will.”

Having all of the representatives come to MCCC was really convenient for some students.

“It’s amazing, having them all gathered here makes it really easy and simple to talk to anyone and get the information you need,” student Derek Egner said.

“I thought it was good,” said Conner Rutan. “I like how all the colleges from around Michigan came here.”

Haver explained that College Night at MCCC was conceived in January of 1978, and first took place in October of that year.

It used to be held in the cafeteria, until the Gerald Welch Health Education Building was built.  It then moved to the gym there.

“I think in this age of digital media, it gives them an opportunity to meet one-on-one to ask a question on a personal level,” she said.

Haver said it took a lot of work to plan College Night, but it was worth it.

A large group of MCCC employees that included Lauren Pillarelli, Bryan Rorke, William Bennett, Mary Lyons, Mark Hall, Peggy Jacob, Steve Mapes, Lisa Reaume, Nicole Schermbeck, and Jennifer LaDuke helped with the event.

Lauren Pillarelli has worked at the college since 1991 and has always helped with College Night.

“I’ve always thought it was great because all those colleges come and it just makes it easier for a high-schooler or even a student here to go up and get to talk to each representative and find out exactly where they want to go,” said Pillarelli, an administrative assistant to Admissions and Guidance Services.

Student Government was also involved in making sure the night ran smoothly.

“They are absolutely invaluable, and I wrote them a note and I put compliments on that little note to them and Tom Ryder. I think he does a magnificent job coordinating Student Government,” Haver said.